Excerpted from AB 1486 – “This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are: In order to ensure that the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) is able to meet strict deadlines that are required to access millions of dollars in federal grants that have been awarded to the LA-RICS, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.”

Another last minute rush gut and amend bill – AB 1486 – would exempt the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

AB 1486 is slated for committee hearing today and needs to pass both houses by midnight Friday, the end of the legislative session. The problem is, this doesn’t allow the public to have time to access and assess pertinent AB 1486 information and impacts.

AB 1486 was introduced by Assembly Member Lara along with principal Coauthors   Senators Huff and Wright; Coauthors Senators Gaines, Liu, Price, Runner, and Strickland; and Assembly Member Coauthors Bradford, Davis, Mitchell and Smyth.

This bill would, until January 1, 2017, exempt from CEQA the design, site [land] acquisition, construction, operation, or maintenance of approximately 90, 180-foot towers with several antennas for land mobile radio systems and 255 long term evolution broadband mobile data system 70 foot monopoles with antennas and microwave dishes.

With respect to law enforcement and to our dedicated Los Angeles County firefighters who could be supporters of this gut and amend bill, it is a difficult choice because of the need for sensitivity re: siting of these mammoth towers. Where would these enormous towers actually be located? How many and where in the Santa Monica Mountains? Would they be installed adjacent to neighborhoods; or, would they be constructed in the middle of what  habitat, on which ridgeline or on existing structures, like fire stations?

According to their website: Will a new tower be constructed in my neighborhood as a result of LA-RICS?  Maybe. The network will be designed with the needs of first responders and the safety of the public first and foremost….

Passing good legislation that balances homeowner, aesthetic, environmental and safety concerns is a lengthy procedure as many local jurisdictions can attest to re: the implementation of their local wireless ordinances carefully crafted and adopted to protect open space, residential neighborhoods etc.

We are all proponents of safety – but that goes for environmental safety too. Could consideration be made for an opt out by a city? Perhaps the massive towers could be subject to siting approval by a local jurisdiction or ?

We are all also more than familiar with so called “urgency ordinances” that have had and continue to have serious impacts on homeowners and the environment.

A lot of questions… answers….and apparently no time.